Are You Familiar With What Causes Tinnitus?
If you are one of the many patients who might be troubled by ringing in your ears, than you have probably been searching into what causes tinnitus. Very often, some of the same issues that cause general hearing loss are also suspected of causing tinnitus. The list of tinnitus causes is very long as many of our body systems interact with each other. Accordingly, if something goes wrong with one system, it is not uncommon for it to have an effect on the auditory functions of hearing. For example, if someone has a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, it is entirely possible for the otic nerves to be affected. This could result in tinnitus.
Some of the many documented causes of this annoying disorder are listed here for your easy reference. Please keep in mind that some of the causes of tinnitus are direct causes while others might be indirect. Furthermore, tinnitus can be objective or subjective in nature. It can be very difficult for a clinician to measure the level of your tinnitus, because of the very nature of this disorder, the ringing or the buzzing or the hissing that you hear may be perceived noise and not real noise.
- Damage to the inner or outer ear
- neurologic disorders
- loud noise exposure over extended periods of time
- head trauma from accident or shock
- cerumen build-up
- ear infections
- antibiotic side effects
- aspirin toxicity
- vitamin deficiency
- iron deficiency
- anxiety and or depression
- sleep deprivation
- post traumatic stress disorder
- side effects of medicines other than antibiotics
While this list is extensive, it is by no means complete. These are just some of the most common tinnitus causes that have been reported in the medical press. To understand why tinnitus happens, you need to understand how the ear processes sound. It is a very complex process that involves many different cell types, such as sensing cells, receptor cells, hair cells, and vibratory cells. A loss of function in any of these areas can contribute to a cause of tinnitus. For instance, researchers know that a loss of auditory hair cells will cause the brain to make adjustments through neuronal activation. The end result of this activation is the perception of sound, which may not be real sound, but the start of tinnitus.
Tinnitus is present in about 20% of the population between 55 and 65 years of age. At this point in our lives, it might not be due to any underlying health issues, but simply part of the aging process as we grow older. Hearing, just like everything else about you, will decrease in quality as we get old. Thus, we have to include aging as the final reason on our list of what causes tinnitus!